- Captain Albert's Blog -

Stories from the Sea, Past and Present

09 Nov. 2018; Nieuw Statendam Building, 21 days to go.

Another good day but misty/foggy. Autumn has truly arrived in the Venice area and then it gets moist and foggy until the dry winter weather sets in. Winter is relative here but temperatures can still touch the 33o Fahrenheit or 0o Celsius on occasion. We will not be here anymore if that happens as that is January weather and then the Nieuw Statendam is already long time in the Caribbean.

This is the Front Desk. Not really visible as the painters are spray painting the ceiling.

Work went on as usual today as has been the case for the whole week; consisting of three main elements for the shipyard: deliveries, finishing jobs and painting. The painting guys are absolutely everywhere, under the Magrodome, outside against the bulkheads and inside in every nook and cranny that has not received a final touch up. For the HAL side of the equation the officers are running around approving (or not) what the yard wants to deliver and are busy tracing all the equipment and parts that have to be brought on board. Then also trying to figure out if more is needed or if anything has been forgotten. For the rest of the crew it is loading  cleaning and putting things in position. The Administration department has been busy in the last few days with getting everything ready for the transfer from Hotels to the ship, for when we board.

The Neptune Lounge, ready for delivery. This is looking forward. This lounge is for Suite Guests, located on Deck 7 and wedged between the cabins on port and starboard side.

This is looking aft. The furniture will be delivered as soon as Yard and Company are happy. The brown thing to the right is a lamp with the lamps shade still missing.










So also yours truly got his paperwork today and, very important, the cabin key. As I am not a crew member I am automatically parked in a guest cabin and so are quite a few of the officers as not every officer’s cabin is ready. I have now been allocated a cabin on deck 4 sb. fwd.  which is a Verandah cabin with a large balcony. Not much of a chance to sit on as it is still covered by deck covering and there is constant traffic passing by. Nowadays all the ships have cabins with balconies and all the balcony dividers can be opened. This is done so that the sailors can get their deck scrubbing machines through to scrub the balconies on a weekly basis. The rest of the week the upkeep is for the Cabin Steward. The yard has the dividers open of course as it is an excellent route to carry pipes from the bow to the stern and to work in various cabins while having your tools on the balcony. I was quite happy to see that everything in my cabin worked. This is also one of the reasons for the coming shakedown cruise. Test all the buttons, try the shower and the TV’s extensively to see if everything works. If it does not, not a problem, A. it is happening to Holland America Personnel and B. it gets reported and fixed before the paying guests come on board.

As the ship is now in such an advanced stage of delivery, the art work is starting to arrive. The Koningsdam was the first ship where the company moved away from just antiques and that trend is now continuing on the Nieuw Statendam. Main Theme is still music but we will see other art as well. And one these first pieces of art to arrive, is a silver or stainless steel bunny. (Apologies to the artist if it is not a bunny but as there is no label to tell me otherwise, I assume it is a bunny as it looks like a bunny) We had a big green one on the Koningsdam behind the Crow’s nest and now we have a small one on deck 2 aft. If I remember correctly, the Koningsdam has a Rooster there.

The first “large piece” of art having arrived on board. A stainless steel bunny

On the music walk, the long walkway from the restaurants to the Main Stage, musical themed photos / art displays have gone up. This is from an Opera or Theatre somewhere. Maybe one of the readers knows which one; as I know a few but not this one.

Hanging on Deck 2 midships. Guess which Opera house or Theatre this is ???

Tomorrow morning approximately 250 crew are going on board and a bus system has been setup to provide transport from the various hotels. It all starts around 0600 in the morning and then continues until noon time. We have to do it in small groups as all the luggage has to go up the gangway and then up (or down) to the cabins and we do not want to block the whole shipyard operation. I will wait until all the crew is out of the way and then lug my suitcase up 5 decks. There are a few lifts in operation but they are constantly full with yard people.

Weather: Same as today, nor rain, some haziness in the morning and sunshine later.


  1. Angela Eggleston

    November 9, 2018 at 6:55 pm

    Captain Albert,

    We love the pictures and the commentary. You’ve taught us a lot about how a ship is finished. I especially enjoyed the section about the casino slots. Although I don’t darken the casino, it was interesting that the slots are connected to a Carnival fleet-wide pay-off. Almost makes me want to play.

    We can’t wait for our cruise, starting on Dec. 23. aboard this beautiful new ship.

  2. The Opera house is the Romanian Athenaeum in Bucharest.

  3. Maybe the picture is from the Romanian Athenaeum in Bucharest?
    (I have never been there but Google has).

    Enjoying the countdown on the new ship.

  4. Captain Albert
    Can you please tell us who sails with you on the “shakedown cruise’ to see that everything works. Is it all HAL people or do workers from the ship yard and their families go? Also is the ship comp[lately full as it would be on a regular cruise.

    Best regards,

    Roger T

  5. Captains, this is really a beautifull peace of art. I think it’s an apple, but it’s like an inktspot, it can be anything. Nice to read about everything that is going on.

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